It’s hard to stay positive during the divorce process, especially a long, embattled one. Even more difficult is to stay positive for your kids and not let divorce rule every minute of every day. Take care of yourself as best as you can so that you can stay strong for your children and be the best parent you can be.
I have some suggestions I wanted to share that don’t take up too much time, but will make a difference in your child’s day.
When you pack your child’s lunch for school, add a little surprise. My son looked forward to this every day after being surprised the first time I did this. One day I had an idea. I put a note in my son’s lunch box. You can write things like: “I love you!”, “You are an awesome kid!”, “Have a great day” or comment about some fun thing that the two of you have planned, such as, “We’re going to have so much fun when you get home and we watch the Lion King! I can’t wait!” These little surprise notes are fun for a significant other also!
If the notes get a little repetitive, you could change it up some and buy a Knock Knock book. Each day pick a new joke or riddle to put on paper. Fold the paper on the outside and write the question and write the answer inside the fold. They will be delighted. I guarantee it!
Carve out a special day and time each week to spend on fun time with your child. When you are going through really emotional times, this will help you start to move forward. You and your child will start to anticipate these “dates” and think about the fun and excitement to come. Making any plans for fun and following through with that is huge!! It really starts to heal you because you start to move forward, rather then focusing on the past or staying stuck.
Have camp out night in the living or family room. Plan to watch a few movies. Get out your sleeping bags or whatever works best for you. Then have a pizza picnic, movie marathon and pajama party there in from of the TV. Spend the night there. It’s OK if you fall asleep in the middle of the movie though.
If you can buy something tangible that they can keep with them when it is the other parent’s parenting time, do so. Make it something they can touch or look at to remind them of you. They will love that connection. If the other parent doesn’t cooperate with this, shrug it off, at least for now. I would never recommend you involved the court authorities. If the other parent doesn’t cooperate there really is nothing that will make him/her do so. Yes, you can tell the court or police about what has happened, but that would be a a waste of time and money. Even if you won in court, it would not be enforceable for the most part. The parent who is putting obstacles in the way will continue to do so and there really is nothing anyone can do short of a custody trial. Change what you can change about you. You cannot control the other parent. Let the kids judge them as they go through life. Kid are the ultimate judges in this situation.
Don’t keep a strangle hold on your kids. They still get to be kids. When you are trying to adjust to your children being away from you on a regular basis, it’s normal to want to spend every remaining moment with them, but it’s important for their development that they be allowed time with their friends, grand parents and other relatives.
Try not to dwell on the court matters if you can hold them back. Try to remind yourself that you want your children to grow up healthy and happy and that you’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen for your child. Most of all, love them.